I am the son of an illiterate refugee who was admitted to this country— not because he was worthy, but because he was desperate.
Desperate for a better life and a chance at the opportunity that America represented.
But that was back then. And if Donald Trump has his way, that which America represents to the world will soon change.
Trump is pushing for a harder line on immigration that includes slashing the number of immigrants admitted to the United States— a 50% reduction from current levels and a plan that favors people with certain education levels, English language proficiency and special skills and accomplishments— like Nobel prizes and Olympic medals.
My father was none of the above.
He didn’t even have an education, didn’t speak English and never won a medal or prize in his life.
In fact, my dad was one of those “wretched” people “yearning to breathe free” that are mentioned on the Statue of Liberty that Trump’s White Supremacist advisor Stephen Miller tried downplaying on national media.
Donald Trump has something against poor, uneducated would-be immigrants to the United States, the nation that was built on the backs of poor, uneducated immigrants.
If Donald Trump’s policies were in effect a hundred years ago, I wouldn’t be here.
And chances are, unless your parents or grandparents had a college degree and spoke English, YOU wouldn’t be here either.
There wouldn’t be a Greek American community as we know it today as hundreds of thousands— millions of those “wretched” Greeks “yearning to breathe free” wouldn’t be here.
Donald Trump wants to change what America stands for— what America has stood for for more than a century.